Edible Berkshires

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


By Jean Yves, Chef and owner,
Lenox and Great Barrington

Jean Yves, a classically trained pastry chef, started at age 14 in Paris, graduated from Ecole Jean Ferrandi and settled with his wife, Yulia, in 2010 in the Berkshires by way of Long Island. He owned and ran five pastry shops in Long Island and produced desserts for outgoing flights from the JFK airport, including Air France. They are pleased to have left city life for the Berkshires, where they can enjoy all we have to offer.

1½ cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 Berkshire apples, peeled and diced
½ cup … Read the rest

Six Depot Chocolate-Hazelnut and Sea Salt Cookies


By Principal Baker Sascha Woolfe
West Stockbridge

1 egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1–2 tablespoons Six Depot espresso, finely ground, to taste
½ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup Nutella (hazelnut/chocolate spread)
Six Depot sea salt, coarsely ground

Yields 1½ to 2 dozen cookies

Combine egg, brown sugar, espresso and flour.

Add Nutella and stir until well incorporated.

Refrigerate mixture for 10 minutes, then spoon about 1-teaspoon-sized balls onto oiled parchment/baking sheet.

Bake at 325° for 8–10 minutes; remove even if centers look a bit underdone. This will result in the chewiest, loveliest texture.

Sprinkle generously with sea salt while still hot.

Wait until cool, then devour.

The Miller


Compliments of Gregg Charbonneau
Lee, Lenox and Boston

This is an old favorite that we learned from chef Michelle Miller 20 years ago when she had the Boiler Room Café in Great Barrington. (These days, she’s founder and owner of Bola Granola.) We call it The Miller in her honor.

Place 1 or 2 scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream* in a small bowl or coffee cup. Pour a shot of single-malt Scotch or a great bourbon over the top and dust with coarsely ground Barrington Coffee Italian Roast. You won’t be sorry.

* There’s no shortage of wonderful local ice cream available in the Berkshires: Bart’s Homemade, Golden Organics, Highlawn Farm, Maple Valley, Soco Creamery—all available at Guido’s. Gould Farm, available at their farm store in Monterey.

Braised Lamb Shank with Roasted Vegetable Risotto


By Peter Platt, owner and executive chef
New Marlborough

Chef Peter Platt’s lamb shanks at the Old Inn on the Green are a favorite. The setting is one of candlelit rooms in a 250-year-old inn in New Marlborough. The dining rooms are elegant yet offer an intimate dining experience. His menu indulges in tastes of the season, often locally foraged and sourced from farmers Peter knows well. This recipe is rich with deep flavors from the stock and the braising of the lamb, and a risotto with roasted vegetables that comforts hearty appetites in winter

Lamb shanks are one of the cuts of meat that benefit most from long, slow braising. Don’t omit the step of turning the shanks every half hour; it causes them to caramelize even as they braise. If the braising liquid seems too reduced at the end of the … Read the rest

Duck, Goose, Goose—Three Ways


By Executive Chef Chris Bonnivier
at The Orchards Hotel, Williamstown

Preparation requires two stages, three weeks apart.

Although stage two of this recipe is made with goose, duck can be substituted.

Serves 6


2 duck breasts, skin and excess fat removed and reserved
3 ounces kosher salt
1 bay leaf, crushed
3 tablespoons pickling spice
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix all ingredients together and rub VERY generously over the duck breasts. Wrap in cheesecloth and put in a pan large enough to fit a foil-wrapped brick on top of each breast. Place pan in refrigerator for three weeks, draining pan of liquids every 2–3 days.

The breasts will feel hard and well-pressed when properly cured.

Wipe breasts with warm damp cloth.

Wrap in new cheesecloth and refrigerate until ready to use.

Render skin and fat:

Cut reserved skin and fat into … Read the rest

Potato Tobasi Gratin


Courtesy of Cricket Creek Farm, Williamstown CricketCreekFarm.com

4 pounds red potatoes, sliced thinly in circles
2 cups Cricket Creek Farm Tobasi*, diced
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Scrub and thinly slice the potatoes. Set them aside in a bath of cold water.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut the Tobasi into small cubes and set aside.

Combine the milk and butter in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Slowly heat over a mediumlow flame, stirring frequently, until the butter melts. Be careful not to scald the milk by allowing it to boil.

Add the Tobasi cubes to the sauce about ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently, until all the cheese has melted. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If the cheese sauce seizes up, … Read the rest

Brisket à la Rouge


By William Merelle, owner and executive chef,
West Stockbridge

Chef William Merelle from the Pyrenees and his wife, Maggie, are the owners of Rouge Restaurant and Bistro in West Stockbridge. They’ve created a welcoming spot for locals and tourists, with a menu featuring appetizers of escargots or mussels and entrees of free-range duck or baby back ribs. Once in a while, brisket is offered as a special.

2 ounces grapeseed oil
1 (10-pound) brisket
2 Spanish onions, peeled and washed
8 medium carrots, peeled and washed
1 cup peeled garlic cloves
4 cups veal stock (or chicken stock with dry veal stock added)
8 cups water
Salt and pepper, for seasoning

Preheat oven to 350°.

Season brisket heavily on both sides with salt and pepper.

In a large roasting pan, preheat grapeseed oil and sauté the brisket on both sides until golden.

Remove brisket from … Read the rest

Chicken Liver Mousse


By Terry Moore, Owner and Chef,
South Egremont

Terry Moore’s Old Mill in South Egremont has attracted locals and tourists for decades. The restaurant feels like the 1800s and its menu ranges from steaks and chops to shrimp curry and rainbow trout. Terry often lists his chicken liver mousse on the menu of first courses. It’s a classic, comforting appetizer especially popular during the holiday season. P

2½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 pound chicken livers, rinsed and drained
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and white pepper
1 ounce brandy
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
Pinch of nutmeg and ground clove

Preheat oven to 300° and place roasting pan with 1 inch of water on rack (water bath).

Chill 6 (4-ounce) ramekins and then brush liberally with melted butter.

Put chicken livers in blender and add the egg, salt, pepper, spices and brandy.

Blend until … Read the rest

Broiled Sunchokes with Kielbasa, Green Beans, Blue Cheese and Herbs with Crispy Onion Salad


By Chef Josephine Proul

Chef Josephine Proul, chef at Local 111 in Philmont, New York, is young and adventurous. She enjoys combining fresh, seasonal ingredients from local sources, such as the Berkshire pork chop with apples and cabbage slaw, or fish with lentils and kale. She’s provided a recipe that’s a take on the classic holiday dish of green bean casserole with fried onions on top. In this recipe Jo uses sunchokes, otherwise known as Jerusalem artichokes, which are readily available at markets. They look like small potatoes and are crunchy with a slight artichoke taste.

1 medium sweet onion, prepped and fried*
¼ pound gluten-free flour (Chef uses a 50/50 blend of rice and corn flours.)
Canola oil for frying
1 pound sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
Salt and pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
½ pound kielbasa
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons olive … Read the rest




This recipe makes 80 crepes but can easily be halved or quartered. This dish is such a family favorite we usually make all 80 and freeze some for another time.

12 large eggs
4 cups flour
4 cups water
8 tablespoons melted butter (cooled)
Beat eggs, flour and water until smooth, then add the melted butter. Cover batter and refrigerate overnight.

I happen to be lucky enough to have my grandmother’s well-seasoned cast-iron crepe pan, but a nonstick crepe pan will do as well. Using a well-seasoned crepe pan or nonstick 5- to 6-inch frying pan, heat pan on low-medium flame, brush pan with canola oil or melted butter. (I usually do a tester before I really get started to make sure pan is hot enough, etc.)

Then ladle ½ cup of batter into the pan and swirl it so it spreads onto the entire surface. Cook until … Read the rest